A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to test the Jackson Kayak Big Tuna in the Florida Keys with Drew Gregory and Brooks Beatty.
The Jackson Tuna took me by suprise. After spending a few days in and around the Big Tuna, using it on the flats, near the bridges, in the wind and waves, I would say that the Jackson Kayak Big Tuna is a very versatile kayak. The Jackson Kayak Big Tuna has all the great features you love in the Coosa and Cuda, then just multiply it by two. It's one of the best all around fishing kayak designs I have seen. As a tandem, you can't beat the comfort. As an outfitter and livery, I have struggled finding the right tandem that is a combination of comfort and stability. The Big Tuna will fit my needs nicely.
It is a very capable solo boat with tons of room. You can really load the boat down when using it in the solo position. If you are larger paddler, height or weight wise I would give the Big Tuna a look as a solo boat. I paddled it solo on the flats, in the wind and heavy current and never felt like it was too much boat. It was as stable and capable as the Cuda that I have been using. I won't hesitate to use the Big Tuna as a solo boat. It has a little more weight than the Cuda, but if that is not a big issue for you, give the Jackson Kayak Big Tuna a look.
As a livery and outfitter, one of the most frustrating things is finding a tandem that is comfortable, stable and easy to use. The Big Tuna fits that bill nicely. Even as a recreational tandem, the Big Tuna brings a lot to the table. It is super stable, easy to paddle and the elite seats are the most comfortable kayak seats I have ever used. Add the fishing features in the tandem configuration and you easily have one of the most versatile fishing kayaks designed. Want to anchor up and hang out crappie fishing? Turn the seats around, sit over the bait tank and fill the boat. The bait tank is simple and functional without a lot of wires and batteries etc. I would recommend this as a great kayak for a father-child fishing craft. I run into a lot of people that want to take their kids kayak fishing but they don't have a second boat, or their kids are at that in between age that they can't quite handle a boat on their own, but they can enjoy a day fishing. The Big Tuna is the ticket for sure. With the ability to convert from a tandem as well as a capable solo craft, that seems an easy decision to me. The best thing is, your child will not outgrow it. As long as you enjoy fishing from the same boat, whether they are young or older, you can still use the Big Tuna.
AS A GUIDE BOAT
I am sure that I wasn't the first kayak fishing guide or instructor to see this boat and think that it might be the answer to a kayak guide's dreams. I knew that I really liked the concept and that the Big Tuna, if it preformed as advertised, would open up new possibilities and opportunities for my guide service. While testing the boat, I paddled it around standing and paddling in the back seat, while the front passenger fished. I paddled it sitting in the back seat, while the front passenger stood and fished, as well as fishing in the face time position. It was pretty nice being able to put the boat into position so the client can get the best shot on a fish. It can be a challenge to a person that is new to kayaking and new to kayak fishing, to get the boat in position and make the cast. With the Big Tuna I will be able to put a client in the front of the boat and allow them to enjoy the whole experience, putting them into the right casting position while learning how to control the boat without becoming frustrated. I think it will be a great teaching platform for kayak fishing. It performed as advertised!!!
The specs and particulars can be found on the Jackson Kayak website.